By: Eleanor Suarez
Sinus Infections: Can they be caused by candida? Are there herbal and holistic methods of relief?
Blocked nasal passages can be caused by allergies, inflammation in the nasal passage due to things like long-term use of medications, dependency on nasal sprays, or long term exposure to strong chemical or smoky environments (non-allergic rhinitis), or polyps. Sinus infections that are not related to allergies or non-allergic rhinitis can be either bacterial or fungal. Bacterial sinus infections are treated with antibiotics by medical doctors.
Fungal sinus infections are difficult to diagnose, but are actually quite common. There are two ways to get fungal sinus infections. The first is simply by breathing in fungus and mold spores from the air. They easily attach to mucus when sinuses are swollen either from allergies or a preceding bacterial sinus infection. The second way is from an overgrowth of Candida Albicans in the gut. People are usually surprised at how many different "symptoms" can be the direct result of candida. If your sinus infection is caused by candida, taking additional antibiotics worsens an already difficult problem.
Symptoms of a candida-related sinus infection can often mimic bacterial sinus infections, and I personally only know of one doctor who tests for candida when her patients have an ongoing sinus infection BEFORE she prescribes any antibiotics. Many doctors don't even consider candida when treating sinus infection. If you have not been tested for candida, you may wish to do so. Other people choose not to waste their time, and go right ahead on a candida diet.
Here are some natural tips to help you:
- ~ If you go on an anti-candida diet, make sure you avoid all dairy products. Milk, cheese, ice cream etc. all contain lactose, which is a dairy sugar, and sugar in all its forms contributes to candida yeast.
- ~ Avoid all wheat products, the gluten is another source of "food" for the growing fungus.
- ~ Get a high quality, candida specific probiotic
- ~ Include vegetables such as sprouts, spinach, and asparagus, and fruits like dates, cantaloupe, prunes, and bananas that are rich in potassium, which aids in reducing
- mucus levels.
~ Consider supplementing with Zinc, and Vitamin C which boost the immunity and aid in drying of excessive mucus.
- ~ Mullein: Mullein is an extremely potent anti-inflammato y and one of the most effective herbal treatments for sinus conditions. Make a tea to drink with organic mullein leaves. (avoid the flowers and seeds). You can also steep mullein leaves in boiling water and inhale the vapors, which allows the essential oils of the plant to enter the sinus passages.
- ~ Horseradish: often very effective at clearing congested sinuses, and its antibiotic properties can help to heal the root causes of infection as well. Make sure to get fresh horseradish root and grate it. Make a tea with honey and lemon. You can also make a poultice to pack on the outside of your nose.
- ~ Other herbs that can provide relief are: red clover, coptis, oregon grape root, nettles, and goldenseal.
**Be sure to treat herbs as medicines, they can be very powerful. And always check with your doctor for any contraindications. Pregnant and nursing women should not take herbal preparations.